Mikel Cumveldt was born
When he had earned his freedom he got a job driving horses on the towpath of the
They had a son, Joseph, in 1847. In 1849 Sarah’s father and the rest of her family moved to
At some point they ended up in
Michael’s great-grandson, Cecil Camfield, tells the following stories:
“I spent a lot of time with my uncles who told me stories of Mike: Once Mike had a pair of colts, one he showed at the Fair. The judge couldn't decide between Mike's colt and another for first place. They were showing, "under harness" which meant their heads were held up by a "check rein." Mike suggested that they uncheck them. When they did the other colt's head dropped to the ground while Mike's never quivered. Later Mike was offered $100 plus a team of old nags for the colts. Mike needed the money so made the deal. Later one of the Warner boys facetiously asked him how he liked his new team. "Me gotum, me gotta like um," was Mike's answer. (That reply has become my philosophy.) In the summer-time Mike's dog would lie in the stock-watering-trough to cool off. When Mike found him there he would haul him out by the scruff of his neck and kick him. One day Fred found the dog in the trough and administered the usual treatment. Mike saw it, got his gun and shot the dog. "Nobody kicks MY dog!" Mike was - - - shall we say, strong minded? The night before he married he went out with is friends on the Canal saying, "This will be my last drink." It was. When Mike and Sarah got on the "outs" they wouldn't talk to each other. Then he would say to Fred, "Tell the old woman so and so." And Sarah would reply, through Fred, " Such and such."
Michael died in 1899 in
[Originally published at The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree, January 30, 2006. I am reprinting it here because I will be transcribing some of the Camfield letters here in the near future.]